I love you.
Today the temperature was so uncharacteristically mild that I was running around with no coat on.
On my way out of the post office today who should I see but United States Congressman John Olver! I began to introduce myself but then discovered that the Congressman already knew about me and my blog. Wow, so they read me in the Halls of Congress! He happily agreed to pose for a picture, joking that his bald head might reflect the light too brightly and ruin the picture! Therefore he posed with his hand covering the top of his head.
Where else but Amherst could you find yourself casually joking with a United States Congressman? I used to live in Amherst, but now I live in Northampton. Yet my soul still yearns for its Amherst homeland, and in better days I shall return there. In the meantime, I am not unhappy in Hamp. I mean, let me state the obvious:
LIVING IN NORTHAMPTON IS BIG FUN!
The city also has a great blog called The Northamptonist. It is written by the talented writer/photographer/videographer and journalist Paolo Mastrangelo. Under the name of his alter-ego "Malatron" he used to produce the ultra-cool Blog Soup. Now he devotes his skills instead to the pursuit of first rate citizen journalism through The Northamptonist.
I ran into Paolo the other day in the Haymarket Cafe. I wanted to take his picture, but he asked me not to so as not to become too well known. I understand where he's coming from. When I first started The Baystate Objectivist I used to go around public meetings mostly unrecognized, discreetly planting myself near where public figures were talking and eavesdropping on their discussions. I got great inside information that way!
Then I started appearing regularly on Channel 40 as a member of the stable of fill-in hosts for The Dan Yorke Show and everybody got to know my face. Suddenly I was recognized everywhere I went, and whenever I tried to tune in to any political discussions among power players, the topic would always change to sports or the weather. So I don't blame Paolo for wanting to preserve his physical anonymity as long as possible, but I still wish I could show you a picture of him because he is really hot!
You can also catch Paolo in the newest issue of Local Buzz, where he writes a great article about Northampton graffiti. That issue also has great photos in it, such as the one below of Northampton's many-hued haired Mayor M. Claire Higgins.
There is also an excerpt in the new Local Buzz from my article about the Dominic Sarno mayoral victory in Springfield:
"He cannot be allowed to fail. Springfield simply cannot afford a failed mayoralty at this point. So let's hope that any embittered Ryanites can put that bitterness aside and unite behind the Sarno Administration, at least to the degree necessary to give Sarno an honest chance to succeed. A successfully functioning Springfield government is good not just for the city but for the entire region, since nothing has held back the prosperity of our Valley quite like the persistent economic dysfunctioning of Springfield. If Sarno succeeds then that means Springfield succeeds, and if Springfield succeeds then everyone who lives in our beautiful Valley will share the benefits."
Here is a picture of Sarno at the Financial Control Board meeting at City Hall in Springfield last week. I ripped the photo off from Bill Dusty.
Sarno came up to me at that meeting and shook my hand. In turn I congratulated him on his victory. Hey, why not start off on friendly terms? There will be plenty of time to fight in the future if circumstances call for it.
But getting back to the wonders of Northampton, if you meet someone hot in Hamp, especially of the gay persuasion, you might want to take them to Northampton's Pride and Joy.
They sell all kinds of neat stuff there, from books to DVDs and even sex toys. Regarding the latter, I've always found the equipment God gave me to be more than adequate. I've never even taken Viagra, except as a party drug. There are also things of a political nature, but unlikely to appeal to you much unless you are of the leftist persuasion. (Click photo to enlarge)
This morning as I was headed downtown there was a light fog over Northampton.
I ducked down this alleyway as shortcut.
Then I made like a hobo and cut across the railroad tracks.
Nearby there was a real hobo sleeping in a doorway. There but for the grace of God....
I used to frown on the poor, but God has humbled me as I deserved.
I'm sorry to read in the paper that Danny Athas, a former owner of the Pine Point Cafe, has died. In my misspent youth I spent far too many hours in that bar. Here's me in front of the Pine Point Cafe in 1993. Photo by Jay Libardi.